If you’ve been on the fence about Apple’s latest 11-inch iPad Pro, now is a good time to consider taking the plunge. Amazon currently has the entry-level 128GB model with WiFi for $729. Although that’s still a steep price, this model was only released a few weeks ago. Also, keep in mind the deal only applies to the Silver model.
This new iPad Pro is a minor update over its 2021 predecessor. Powering it is Apple’s updated M2 chip — the same silicon inside the latest MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. The new chip makes the tablet a bit zippier than the last model, powering through heavy multitasking, media editing and the most demanding games.
The 2022 iPad Pro also adds a new hover feature that lets you hold the second-gen Apple Pencil over the screen to preview inputs and effects. Although that alone isn’t reason enough to upgrade, it’s a fun detail that could become integral as software developers tailor their apps for it. The high-end tablet also supports WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 networking.
If you own the 2021 iPad Pro, this probably isn’t the generation to upgrade. The M2 chip and hover feature are welcome additions, but everything else is unchanged from last year’s model. That includes the screen, chassis, cameras and battery — it’s a minor update to a tablet that was already overkill for most people’s iPad workflows.
Still, this model is the company’s best 11-inch model and an impressive hybrid device when you add the Magic Keyboard. In addition, the M2 chip runs smoothly with Stage Manager, Apple’s answer to persistent criticisms about iPadOS software not keeping up with cutting-edge iPad hardware. Stage Manager lets you keep up to four apps open in a single group with resizable, overlapping windows. Although the multitasking feature still feels like a work in progress, we expect Apple to keep tweaking and refining it in future software updates.
If you consider upgrading to this model from an older iPad Pro, this will also be your introduction to Center Stage. The feature uses machine learning to track your (and others’) faces during a video call in apps like FaceTime and Zoom. The frame follows you if you move to the side or go from sitting to standing. And if someone else enters the frame, it also pans out to bring them into the shot.
Should you prefer a bigger screen, Amazon also has the 12.9-inch model for $1,069, which is $30 off what you’d pay at Apple. Although that’s less of a price cut, that model’s screen is bigger and more vibrant with mini-LED tech.